Chicago, IL, July 22, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Full steam ahead.
That’s been the motto of Neil Burrowes, supervisor of Rapid Development Therapy Cayman Islands – formerly Dolphin Human Therapy Grand Cayman – at Dolphin Cove in the Cayman Islands.
The new, intensive RDTCI program combines traditional therapeutic methods with dolphin-assisted therapy for families and children with special needs. The therapy takes place in the warm, natural waters of Grand Cayman, which is only an hour flight from Miami.
The program has hosted families from all over the United States including California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey. Children with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other developmental issues have participated with their parents and siblings in the extremely successful therapy.
“We’ve had children go from completely nonverbal to verbal over the two-week session. We had one child earlier this year say his first words… at age 12,” said Burrowes. “The therapy works. Besides the name, nothing has changed. Now, we’re building on those past successes and opening our doors to even more families.”
Burrowes continues to work with Diane Sandelin, who has over 13 years of experience in dolphin-assisted therapy as a director of operations as well as a hands-on therapist.
“It’s not something that’s magic. Dolphins aren’t magic. It’s real therapy,” she said. “We look at the whole child and the whole family unit. And a large percentage of what we do is parent education, so they can take back what we do.”
The therapy combines the unique motivators of the dolphins with a beautiful environment and a staff of exceptional therapists, Sandelin said. She has high expectations for the families and children, but she works with realistic goals.
“It’s very intense, but it is also family-friendly and kid-friendly,” she said.
The therapy costs are priced moderately – $5,400 for 10-sessions/two weeks of therapy is in line with other animal-assisted facilities in the States. But for some families, the therapy costs are out of reach. So Burrowes has also brought in a new fundraiser to help less-privileged families find the means to participate in the therapy.
Rachael Williams dedicates her days to linking sponsor companies and individual donors with families in search of successful therapy for their child with special needs. RDTCI has also started a scholarship to bring even more families to Cayman.
“We’re looking for any amount or type of donation to help provide a child and a parent with therapy, airfare and accommodations,” Williams said. “With a sponsor’s help, we could potentially change an entire family’s life by providing the support and therapy to improve communication, trust and confidence between all family members.”
The team at RDTCI is dedicated to this goal, Burrowes said.
“With the help of donors and the willingness of families, we’ll reach that goal,” he said.